Wearable cameras anyone?

Don't forget that photography and video recording may be illegal at your VA facility.


PTSD may increase heart attack, stroke risk in women

​New research reveals that the effects of PTSD can go beyond the mind -- and put women's hearts and brains at risk. Post-traumatic stress disorder can wreak havoc on a

person's ability to deal with small disturbances, such as a loud noise or an upsetting story in the news, and it can keep them from getting good sleep. In addition to these problems, and perhaps because of them, PTSD might also increase women's risk of heart attack

and stroke, according to new research.

Presidential Memorial Certificates

A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is a gold-embossed paper certificate bearing the official signature of the current President of the United States and honors the memory of deceased, honorably discharged Veterans.

Veteran & Dependent Burial in VA National Cemeteries

The National Cemetery Administration honors Veterans and their families with final resting places and lasting memorials that commemorate their service to our nation.

​​​​Speak up about VA

​Is it not worth an hour or two of

your time to voice your opinion?

Cash-Strapped VA Debates Withholding

Treatment From Some Vets

​The slippery slope of health-care rationing, fueled by a gaping budget shortfall, is now an issue at the Veterans' Administration. 

Vietnam Veterans Are Declared Eligible To Receive Long-Denied Benefits

It has taken more than 40 years, but Connecticut veteran Conley Monk has won his battle to have his military discharge

status upgraded and can now receive federal benefits.​

Unsanitary conditions at Tampa VA hospital

​A hospital infested with roaches and rats is the latest in a series of problems for Veterans Affairs.
An email reveals dead rats and roaches turned up at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.​

"Could it get any worse?"

(It's the VA. You ain't seen nothin' yet!!!)

​The Department of Veterans Affairs is still recovering

from the scandal which erupted in 2014

over manipulated waitlists. 

From the Desk of

Drew Early

Veterans Law Attorney

Read Drew's updates

and early warnings of

what's up in the

Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Responds To NPR Story On Broken Promises

To Vets Exposed To Mustard Gas

"The NPR story rightfully points out the sacrifices that Veterans and their families have

gone through during the years when they were sworn to secrecy. VA is prepared to assist

any Veteran or survivor who contacts us in determining their entitlement to benefits.

Additionally, if NPR is willing to share with us the list of 1,200 or so Veterans who they

have been able to identify as having been exposed, VA will attempt to contact them to ensure they are receiving all the benefits and services to which they are entitled under the law."

How NPR Located More Veterans Exposed To Mustard Gas Than The VA

Give VA benefits to same-sex couples

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) is pressing the Department of Veterans

Affairs (VA) to grant benefits to same-sex couples in the wake of a historic Supreme Court decision.


VA grilled on budget shortfall, urged to sell boutique hotel

​Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Jeff Miller, Republican of Florida, said at the agency's 2015 budget hearing on Thursday that he was frustrated that VA Secretary Robert McDonald did not mention the budget shortfall during previous recent hearings in which he testified. 

Miller to VA: Agency has ‘a management issue

far more than … a money issue.’

Despite a tense hearing, a House oversight committee said it will give the Department of

Veterans Affairs more “flexibility,” to help ease a $2.5 billion budget

shortfall the agency said it is facing to treat millions of former troops.

The Veterans Administration aims for a fresh betrayal

Considering the Department of Veterans Affairs’ recent scandals,

you’d think VA top brass would show some humility.
Think again.
Instead of cleaning up its act, the VA’s trying once again to

sabotage the Choice program, which was

supposed to allow vets to see a doctor outside the delay-plagued VA system.

Disability Payments to Veterans

​It is sad that one week after Memorial Day, The New York Times saw fit to run an essay lamenting the cost of compensating veterans for their disabilities. As Jon Stewart

has said, if the government cannot fairly care for

and compensate our disabled veterans, maybe it should stop creating so many of them.

VA still playing loose with the facts

Question: A year after we lost Eric Shinseki, probably the best Department of Veterans Affairs secretary we’ve ever had, what’s been accomplished at the VA?
Answer: Not much.

Honor vets: Abolish the VA

Americans have no faith in socialized medicine, a system in which the federal government owns the hospitals, employs the doctors and nurses and pays the bills. Yet the

United States has a vast system of socialized medicine. Its name is the VA!

In effort to fix woes in VA care,

Moulton taps own experience

​Seth Moulton had earned two medals in Iraq for his valor. He’d witnessed brutal combat in four tours with the Marines. But none of that mattered when he showed up at the Veterans Health Administration hospital in Washington, D.C., where staff could not find records.
“We’ll consider taking you as a humanitarian case,” a hospital staffer told Moulton,
unaware that the would-be hernia patient was also a newly elected Massachusetts congressman.

After Divorce, Losing Veterans’

Support Along With a Spouse

After all I had been through with him, I was now faced with another reality. Once you are divorced from a veteran, resources such as counseling go away. I even asked for help to tell him to leave the house but was told no, even though I worried for my safety. I was told their services were to provide a safe place for the veteran.

Veterans’ sleep disorders–PTSD connection

Improving veterans’ sleep (both quantity and quality) may reduce their risk of developing depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to afirst-of-its-kind study by the RAND Corporation.

​​Are You a Vietnam Veteran?

Help Us Investigate the Impact of Agent Orange

ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot are exploring the ways children of Vietnam

veterans may be affected by a parent's exposure to Agent Orange.

VA changes must not affect vets' medical care

We can take no chances with the health and well-being of our military veterans,

those who sacrificed to protect and defend the liberties

that we cherish, the core freedoms that make America what it is.

Kennewick veteran mistreated at a Seattle VA hospital

The mistreatment of a Kennewick veteran at a Veterans Administration hospital

in Seattle is one of several incidents around the country

that have spurred members of Congress to call for changes to VA care.

Deported Marine vet gets access to VA medical care ‘too late’

“I served in the United States Marine Corps,” were some of Jose Solorio’s final words,

recorded in a cell phone video, before he was able to get access to the care his family

believed he deserved and did not get since he was deported.
Solorio is a retired Camp Pendleton Marine.


Vets, Lawmakers Irate over New VA ‘Choice’ Program

​When the scandal erupted last year over long wait lists at the Phoenix VA, Alaska

was found to have quite short wait times.  The Alaska VA has for years

been buying care for veterans outside the VA, at community and

private-sector clinics, and especially through the Native health care system. 


​Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

Services for Veterans with Disabilities

​Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) is an employment-oriented program that helps transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans with service-connected

disabilities and employment handicaps to prepare for, find, and keep suitable employment. Services may include employment assistance, short and long-term training, purchase of required supplies and equipment,

and on-the-job training.


Man who stole veterans’ data at

Tampa VA hospital sent to prison

A man who was supposed to shred documents from a Tampa veterans hospital but instead used them to steal veterans’ personal information is headed to federal prison.​​

Behavior of Military Lawyer in

Boondoggle HQ Inquiry Under Scrutiny
Several U.S. Senators and military lawyers say they are concerned by
Col. Norm Allen’s attempts to thwart an investigation into why the U.S. Military built an unneeded luxury headquarters in Afghanistan.

Problems ongoing with VA service

Unfortunately, a year after the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, there are few signs things are better at the overwhelmed agency. Shinseki resigned last May amid a scandal in which employees throughout the VA’s medical system conspired to hide months-long wait times that veterans faced when seeking care.

Ask Gisela

Gisela Miller is an Accredited Agent for VA Claims & Appeals.

She's also the spouse of a disabled veteran.

Gisela met her husband in her native Germany while he was

​stationed there during his deployments to the Gulf War. She returned to America with him,taught herself the English language and became an accomplished paralegal

and an American citizen as she dueled with the VA to ensure her husband was awarded the benefits he earned. (He was.)

Once his benefits were secure, she embarked on a year long journey to becomea VA accredited agent  and now represents veterans and their families in the VA appeals process.Gisela will be a frequent contributor to the VAWatchdogand is available to answer your questions about the VA claims and appeals​process now. Contact

Gisela here and have a look at her Q & A here.


Veterans with PTSD at higher risk for sleep apnea

Researchers found that 69 percent of veterans who were

evaluated for self-reported PTSD symptoms also were at high risk for sleep apnea.

Blue Water Claims Update
The Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims has made a landmark ruling that will help many Navy 
and Coast Guard vets who have been classified as Blue Water Sailors. The case was Gray vs 
McDonald and was decided on April 24, 2015. This will greatly benefit many Vietnam Navy 
veterans effected by Agent Orange.

​​Gray v McDonald 042315 RH_13-3339

​Haley VA has a new director

​The James A. Haley VA Medical Center has a new director, an

administrator with more than 30 years of experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Embattled VA watchdog stepping down

The chief watchdog of the Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday

amid mounting criticism of his investigations and

oversight that he is stepping down at the end of this week.

Man made threats against Cookeville VA

Officials said William Cope made a threat to the Department of Veteran Affairs in Cookeville.

Woman convicted of fraudulently receiving VA benefits

Dorothy Lawson Jones, 66, of Hendricks, was previously married to a veteran

who passed away in 1991. She remarried in 1995 and continued to

unlawfully collect spousal death benefits from the VA until at least 2013.

Columbus VA center welcomes once-shunned gay veterans

Milo Wilson, a psychologist at Chalmers, said it’s a real culture shift for veterans.

Stolen valor: Fake soldiers pretend to be war heroes for popularity and profit

In July 2013, Jonathan Wade Short of Hardin County, Kentucky, admitted in U.S.

District Court to impersonating a United States soldier for

most of the preceding year, even though he had no record of military service.

Jim's Mailbag
Hey Jim,

Just thought i would share this with you. I went to my CBOC the other day to see my new
PTSD doc. In my mind I was just getting my prescriptions updated. I am not on a lot of stuff,

some stuff for sleep and a low dose anti anxiety med. The issue is it's a new doc,

3rd one this year in fact (continuity of care). While I certainly can see how it may be

necessary  for a new provider to get their own back ground and make their own 
assessment before writing a prescription.at the same time I am a bit fed up with the Idea 
that I feel like I have to defend myself against being deemed "mentally defective"
so often.It did not take long for the questions to get to; "How are you at paying your bills?",

 "How often do you use alcohol", "How much do you gamble",  all leading down that

road of personal judgment about weather or not this Vet should have a gun.
Fact of the matter is I don't much like guns anymore, other than an occasional hunting trip.
But thats me, I certainly don't wish to see Vets getting randomly thrown into NICS denial lists either
It was pretty clear she had an agenda and it was not about helping
She was pretty actively looking for a way to justify putting me on a list .


The VA continues to persecute veterans, there's little doubt of that. We're seen as guilty of

drug abuse, financial incompetence, anger management problems, and much

more at each encounter. VA seems to enjoy being the anti-advocate for

veterans and seeks to destroy more of our lives than it helps. That you've had

3 mental health providers already this year speaks volumes. Even they can't take it and they leave for the civilian sector. I didn't believe it could be possible but VA care continues to decline. 

I believe we all have to begin to wear concealed body cameras.

Then we may be rid of some of the nonsense.

Hello Jim,

"I believe we all have to begin to wear concealed body cameras. 

Then we may be rid of some of the nonsense." 
I was considering just turning on the iPhone and recording

my visits to the Randall VAMC.  It may / should become SOP.


What do YOU think?

If you record your visits, send them to us at VAWatchdog and

we'll consider publishing your videos here.

Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits

​The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.

Ninth Circuit Victory for Veteran 'Guinea Pigs'

​After subjecting soldiers to chemical and biological weapons experiments

during the Cold War, the U.S. Army has an ongoing

duty to provide these veterans with medical care, the Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday.

VA hospital that once treated Civil War veterans could close

Perched atop a bluff in the remote Black Hills, a veterans hospital built

of thick blocks of pink sandstone and topped with red-tiled roofs in a

Spanish mission style overlooks the tiny town of Hot Springs,

South Dakota, and has provided recovering soldiers a bucolic haven for more than a century.


VA Lags on Women’s Health; No Gynecologists at Some VAMCs

​With 29% more women accessing VA healthcare in the past three years,

the agency has a way to go to make sure it meets the needs of female veterans,

advocates testified at recent congressional hearings.

One key issue is the lack of gynecologists at every VAMC.

 VA-led Consortium Launches Brain Bank for Research on PTSD

A consortium led by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Center for

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has launched the first brain tissue

biorepository (also known as a “brain bank”) – to support

research on the causes, progression and treatment of PTSD affecting Veterans.

Don't wait, donate your brain today!


Two men arrested for stealing items from military veterans' graves

​Two men have been arrested for stealing more than $20,000 of

bronze markers and vases from military veterans' graves at a cemetery in West Warwick.

​VA Benefits for Veterans Entering the Physical Evaluation Board

This fact sheet provides important VA benefits information for

Servicemembers who may be medically discharged. 

Congressmen to VA: Where did $1.1 billion go for Aurora hospital?
House committee chairman threatens to withhold funds if VA fails to provide a detailed answer


Local Iraq War veteran battles VA system, cancer

​In January, Alex Vancel began feeling intense pain in his tailbone area.

He went to the outpatient clinic at the Indiana Veterans Home in West

Lafayette – and alleges shocking neglect by the clinic that nearly killed him.

Tip Of The Week

Do you believe that you should file a disability claim

but you may not be quite ready with your evidence?

​Not a problem.  File the new

VA Form 21-0966 - Intent To File A Claim

Once you have this completed form in your record, you'll have

up to a year to complete the rest of the paperwork.

The Intent To File form preserves the early effective date.

Remember: The only claim we know you'll lose is the one you don't file.

File Your Claim Today

On-Line With eBenefits          Print the Form

​Fax the Form to:

​(Western) 844-822-5246 ​  (Eastern) 844-531-7817


America's Leading Resource For
Military Veterans News & Benefits Information 

This Is The Site VA Reads When They

Want To Learn What They've Been Doing

Welcome Aboard!

With Prostate Cancer Diagnosed Younger,

Treatment Options Under Fierce Debate

​Since the mid-1980s, six times as many men under 55 now are receiving prostate

cancer diagnoses, and the younger patients face considerably higher mortality rates.

With the stakes even greater, the debate continues on whether

too much screening is being performed and how aggressively the cancer should be treated.

New Undercover Footage Shows VA Officials

Admitting Of ‘Unaccountability At Every Level’ 

Investigative journalist James O’Keefe released another undercover video Wednesday,

showing a doctor at the Department of Veterans Affairs admitting the VA has a

“culture of unaccountability.” Over a year has elapsed since the scandal over

manipulated wait times at Phoenix broke. According to the testimony of numerous officials and employees, the VA still has difficulty meeting the basic needs of veterans. 

Cemetery worker used veterans' headstones as flooring

​Federal prosecutors say an employee of the Rhode Island Veterans'

Cemetery has agreed to plead guilty to the theft of

granite grave markers and other cemetery items.

You can't make this stuff up.

VA cop is acting Wilmington admin health chief

 The Wilmington Veterans Affairs hospital is clearly looking for a new chief for its

Health Administration Service. That's the person who oversees a wide variety of administrative and clerical functions "essential to the effective, overall management of inpatient and outpatient care," according to VA. The acting chief? The facility's top law enforcement officer, Jeffrey Steidler.
If Steidler, a career cop who first joined the VA system in 2002, possesses the

necessary background, the hospital isn't saying. The hospital confirms he's filling the position while serving concurrently as the hospital's chief of police.


The Forms You Need

Are Right Here

VA Form 21-0966 - Intent To File A Claim

VA Form 21-526EZ -  File A Claim

Disability Service Connection

Secondary Service Connection-Increased

Disability Compensation-Temporary

Total Disability Rating -

 Individual Unemployability -

Compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151 -

 Special Monthly Compensation -

Specially Adapted Housing/Special

Home Adaptation Automobile 

Allowance/Adaptive Equipment -

Benefits Based on a Veteran's

Seriously Disabled Child

VA Form 21-0958 - NOD

​Notice of Disagreement

The first step to appeal

VA Form 21-534 EZ

Application for DIC, Death Pension, 

Change of Address

The VA Claims Intake Center

Western Region

Department of Veterans Affairs

PO Box 5235
Janesville, WI  53547-5235
Toll Free FAX Janesville – 844-822-5246

The VA Claims Intake Center

Eastern Region
Department of Veterans Affairs

PO Box 5235
Newnan, GA   30271-0020
Toll Free Fax Newnan – 844-531-7817

File Your Claim On-Line - eBenefits

Disability Benefits 

Questionnaires (DBQ's) 

List By DBQ Form Name

​​DBQ Provider Instructions


TDIU Annual - VA Form 4140

VA form 21-686c

Declaration of Status of Dependents

Veterans Affairs publishes new

Agent Orange regulation

​The Department of Veterans Affairs recently published a new regulation that expands benefits eligibility for a select group of Air Force veterans and Air Force reserve

personnel who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange through regular and repeated contact

with contaminated C-123 aircraft used in Vietnam as part of Operation Ranch Hand (ORH).